Previewing The NFC Championship: Packers vs. Seahawks
Football is a rare commodity. You're guaranteed sixteen games a year and no more. As Packers fans, we're already well into bonus coverage. Our team gets another shot this weekend, and we get another chance to see them play.
The Packers have now made the playoffs in six consecutive seasons. Six years in a row, our favorite team has had a shot at the ultimate goal. If that's not remarkable enough, think back a generation to the beginning of the Brett Favre Era in Green Bay. How many shots did the Packers have then? How many times did the season extend beyond Week 17?
It's been a long run of success in Green Bay, and that run got a little longer this year. But this is far from ordinary. The Packers have had two consecutive Hall of Fame quarterbacks under center, and more than enough good fortune to put excellent players around them. What we've seen over the last two decades and change is extraordinarily rare.
But think deeper about those years. The Packers have won two Super Bowls, been to three, and gotten to the conference championship two more times, only to fall short. In those more than two decades of success that's five times the Packers have had a shot at either winning or going to a Super Bowl. This Sunday makes number six. Even with Hall of Fame quarterbacks, chances at winning it all don't come along all that often.
Few people on the Packers know that better than Julius Peppers. He's had all the individual success in the world, but a ring eludes him. In a news conference this week, Peppers talked about what it's like to come up short time and time again.
"All of those were close calls," he said. "I always thought I'd be back the following year, and it never happened. It makes you realize that you have to take advantage of the moment when you have it."
Peppers has another moment on Sunday, and so do we. The odds are steep, and the Packers will need more than a few breaks to fall their way to come out on top. But they have a shot, and that's the most important thing.
Football is a rare commodity indeed, and opportunities to watch your team succeed at the highest level are even more rare. Appreciate this Sunday. Enjoy the ride, no matter what the outcome. We never know when this chance could come back again.
The Pick - Packers: 31 Seahawks: 30